Now that summer is officially over, we can look back on the summer months that certainly were not hot – in regards to real estate. The numbers below are for Bainbridge Island single family homes, condos are not included in this data.

June 1, 2008-September 30, 2008

77 homes were sold

160 average days on market

Average square feet of homes sold 2534

Average listing price $789K ($317 per sq ft)

Average sale price $733 ($297 per sq ft)

To compare, let’s look at 2007 data during the same time period June-September.

151 homes sold

106 average days on market

Average square feet of homes sold 2668

Average list price $830K ($319 sq ft)

Avg sale price $807K ($311 sq ft)

2006 – 155 homes sold with an average of 79 days on the market

2005 – 178 homes sold with an average of 93 days on the market

So, you can quickly see our volume is off. We sold half as many homes this summer compared to last. And looking farther back to 2005, you can see we have broken the trend.

The larger inventory has kept homes on the market longer and of course with supply and demand, we have seen a dip in price. The stats above show a price drop of about 10%, but that number is somewhat skewed by some large multi-million dollar sales over the summer. In actuality, the price drop in the homes in the $400K-800K is more like 15-20%.

So, what is my take on it? Should you camp out in a rental for the next two years? I look at it this way – rent is money given to someone else. I believe the prices are going to stabilize for a while, perhaps take another smaller dip in the 2-5% range and them stabilize again, before going up in late 2009 or 2010. Should you just wait until then? Maybe, but remember the rent you are giving to someone else and the tax write off you are not getting. Those elements need to be factored in when you are thinking/estimating that if you wait you can save $50K. That looks a lot like two years rent to me.

If you head out now and shop the vast market, it will be like having the special privilege of shopping at Costco before they open. No crowds, no lines, the best selection, all those great samples you can try and then try again – and still the super deals. Who wouldn’t love that?

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